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Meat zones to beat pollution

Bhubhaneswar, June 9: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to set up 13 vending zones for meat shops at different areas in the city. The vending zones will come up in public-private-partnership (PPP) mode.

The corporation has floated an expression of interest for this purpose that will cover nearly 200 meat vendors of the city. The places which have been identified for this purpose include Pandara, Gopabandhu Nagar, Jharpada, Gobinda Prasad, Bhoumanagar, Vanivihar, Tankapani Road, Jokalandi, Chandrasekharpur, Daman, Aiginia, Jayadev Vihar and Badagada.

Earlier, Orissa High Court had directed the civic body to remove the roadside slaughterhouses. BMC official sources said the proposed vending zones were meant to rehabilitate the meat vendors on a temporary basis. “Later, the meat vendors will be shifted to permanent slaughterhouses proposed to be set up in Gadakan, Dumduma, Pandara, Ghatikia and VSS Nagar areas,” said a BMC official.

The proposal includes erection of walls in front of the vending zones to block the gory view of butchering of goats and hens. The corporation will also a place waste disposal system to ensure the safe collection of animal waste. The areas of the various proposed vending zones vary from 1,600sqft to 4,000sqft. The size of one shop will be 120sqft whereas the shops will have a space of 96sqft to display advertisements.

The corporation has come under severe criticism from animal rights activists, who have been demanding the construction of slaughterhouses for butchering of animals so that buyers can get meat in hygienic conditions.

The absence of adequate modern slaughterhouses in the city has resulted in open butchering of animals. “Though there is a ban on open slaughtering, it continues in the city. The civic authorities must take necessary measures to ban the killing of animals in public,” said Jaladhar Behera, a senior citizen. At present, there is only one slaughterhouse in the city that operates at Meherpalli.

Meat traders have welcomed the idea but said the BMC needed to set up more vending zones to ensure that business was not affected.

“We have proposed nearly 40 vending zones in the city for meat traders. If more than 10 traders do their business in a single vending zone, business will definitely be affected,” said Sheikh Sarjan of Bhubaneswar Meat Vendors’ Association.